Facebook policing personal messages won’t really save children from abuse, but it WILL bring us closer to 1984

Facebook’s “rebel shareholders” want to review potential risks that a new end-to-end encryption service could allow for increased exploitation of children by sexual predators – but why wait until now to kick up a fuss?

We collectively scratch our heads today in bewilderment at how someone in Victorian times could walk into a chemist and freely buy cocaine, opium and even arsenic over the counter. It’s also madness to think that the most harmful of opiates – horse, smack, junk, H… call it what you like – was unregulated and sold legally in the USA until Congress passed the so-called anti-Heroin Act in 1924.

Similarly, I reckon future historians will look back on today’s society in utter horror at our unregulated approach to the internet. The World Wide Web is the Wild West of our times – it is full of cowboys and we need a digital sheriff to keep us safe.

But Facebook’s “rebel shareholders” are sorely mistaken if they genuinely believe society at large will somehow benefit from their efforts to hamper or curtail Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to introduce end-to-end encryption on all messages.

They now want Facebook to review the potential risks of any“increased sexual exploitation of children” with such a messaging service – a move that follows claims from the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence network that it would turn the social media giant into a haven for paedophiles.

I don’t buy into the theory that Facebook is “already the main hub for child sex abuse,” as is being alleged. Yes, it’s probably the “most popular” social app for perverts to groom the guileless, but much of the sordid and evil deed – such as the buying and selling of obscene pornographic material and human trafficking – is conducted on the Dark Web.

Also, why would these twisted individuals suddenly switch over to Facebook’s security-improved message service when they’ve already got a few other platforms – as well as countless encrypted message services – to use?

And before anybody starts accusing me of being soft on these sexual predators, you should note I have strongly advocated in the past for the introduction of compulsory chemical castration for them, which you can read here.

So keeping that in mind, I feel what the Facebook shareholders are proposing is nothing short of being self-serving at best, or self-sabotage at worst. And – to quote how Shakespeare eloquently put it in ‘Hamlet’ – Mark Zuckerberg will end up being “hoist with his own petard” if he allows them to get away with this s**t. It’ll blow up in their faces if they allow any competition to stay ahead of the game.